Author: P. Joseph Cherubino

Quest for Eyeballs 2: Blogpocalypse

Welcome to the Blogpocalypse. So, Realm of the Nine Circles 2 is now well past the halfway point. I’m rapidly approaching the big *spoiler deleted* where*spoiler deleted* does *spoiler deleted* and *spoiler deleted* happens. But the story ideas won’t leave me alone, so I have to write on these other projects as well so that the ideas don’t grow cold and the worlds don’t go stale. That makes it hard to focus, but with the proper methods and discipline, I won’t suffer too much from “shiny thing syndrome.” That occurs when the next new fresh idea leads me down the garden path and into a pretty project that distracts me from my goal of actually finishing a novel. That particular path is beautiful, but in the past, it’s lead me to not finishing what I started. Part of the problem is that reaching the halfway mark of the book is kind of boring. I know what’s going to happen. I’ve revisited the themes and tropes so much that I literally see them in my sleep. Familiarity breeds contempt. I know too much about the characters. So I hit the doldrums and took a single day break from writing on the work in progress. Instead, I worked on some email campaigns to my mailing list and brainstormed some ideas on how to provide quality work to those readers who have shown interest....

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Oracle for Hire: Jack Frix

Chapter I It was the name. It stood out from the fog in my head like dim candle flicker. The incantation felt gummy in my mouth as I repeated it back to the shaman at the table. I’d heard the name before, but whiskey made the invoked images gauzy. I’d need to go deeper to see. “Karla? With a ‘K?;” I asked, trying to bring the Boots into focus. “How should I know how you spell it?” the shaman growled, sneering a jagged hole in his brown face to expose chiclet teeth that always looked ready to clamp down on something. Tonight was the most Boots said to anyone in weeks, most likely. He was talking to me, though. That’s what counts. The thing about being a drunk is that it’s inconvenient. Here, I had the juiciest piece of info on my mark, and all I could do was order another round. I did so with a flick of my index finger that rested on my shot glass. The waitress always knew to eye-check my booth in the back corner as she made her circuit around the smoky basement pit that was Benny’s lounge. Boots deepened his sneer, his bloodshot eyes mapping every red road to the nearly-black iris through which he took the world hostage by command of his brooding silence. “Don’t care what you do with it,”...

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I Live in a Cabin in the Woods and Write Science Fiction Novels and I Sleep in a Hammock. Am I a Bit of a Kook?

Nah, I’m living the dream. Not a kook. That headline was click bait. How’d it do? But now that you’re here, the following is demonstrative of my thought processes in general. So, I have a queen sized bed at the cabin that is more than ten years old. I was using the mattress on the floor and moving it around while I worked on the cabin. That was easier than setting up the bed frame. Well, the box spring was in the loft leaning against a wall. That provided an excellent habitat for mice, as evidenced by the thick...

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LitRPG Short Story: The Noob Squad

(A LitRPG Vignette Underdog Story) Daryl ran through the forest as fast as he could, which was not too fast, considering he was only a level 3 and he was just a Mage with all his bonus skill points allocated to the intelligence attribute. Behind him, two chaotic warriors charged after him, one with a two-handed sword, the other with a flaming arrow loaded into an enchanted bow. How did Daryl know the bow was enchanted? He was fool enough to ask. At first, he thought he was having a friendly conversation with two fellow players in the World of Galgalax. He was new to the game, and his parents only just let him play this summer after two solid years of begging. He’d kept his grades up, which wasn’t easy to do as a freshman in a new school, in a new town placed in advanced science and math courses in the only STEM magnet school in the county. His very first VR game was his reward, and Daryl was thrilled. The two players standing just outside the jungle spawning circle were ready to answer his questions. He thought they just happened by and were eager to help a new player. “Yeah,” the human warrior said, “It’s a level 8 bow, and I’m a level 9 character.” “Cool!” Daryl said. He hadn’t modified his voice changer yet, so...

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Blood and Chaos at Dawn: A Story of the Post-Human Age

They played cat and mouse through the suburban hills outside of the Baltimore Collective. The Citystate was no longer neutral. Nathan’s faction was taking full advantage the chaos of regime change to infiltrate the area and gather intelligence. Radical transhuman elements seized B-Coll sentience nodes and were tapped into the violent subconscious that the Machine Mind wasn’t yet able to reclaim. The meatbots holding B-Coll were using the nodes to think for an entire battalion of killer biped drones. Partisans were getting mowed down like grass because of it. The militant Transhumans had already incinerated the thirty-thousand-member City Council immediately after capturing the central spire. Transhuman secret police were engaged in a major purge of dissidents. General Martinez wanted those nodes captured while the distraction of the purges was still in play. Nathan wanted the nodes destroyed along with any Militant transhuman he came across. Killing was his own personal mission. At two-thousand feet high, and more than a mile across, the Baltimore Harbor Spires already dominated the sky over the neighborhood once called Druid Hill Park. The hills that gave the neighborhood its name were merely five-hundred feet above sea level. The foundations of the central spire alone sank at least at least as far beneath the Chesapeake bay. The forty million souls who teemed in that human hive must have looked down at the random patchwork of...

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